When you have a train-obsessed six (soon to be seven) year-old, your weekends can take you to some unlikely places. So it was that I spent yesterday at a depot in Acton, west London. But this was not just any old pre-fab shed in nondescript suburbia. This was The London Transport Museum Depot and I can recommend it almost as highly to anyone interested in design as I can to anyone with a child for whom the tube network is a source of endless wonder.
The Depot houses that part of the Museum’s collection that cannot fit into its Covent Garden home. As the main museum is undergoing an extensive (and, ironically, delayed) refurb, this rare open day at the Depot represented a valuable opportunity to sate my son’s rapacious tube habit.
Dragging him away from the vintage trains, buses and trams, we explored their fantastic collection of signage, maps and assorted graphic ephemera. Some is locked away in cages but a great deal more is out on open display, vividly illustrating the enduring appeal of one of the world’s first and best identity systems. Before my son zoomed off to pilot a Northern Line northbound train through Waterloo on a pretty damn impressive computer simulator, I just had time to snatch a few quick pictures of the treasures to be found down the Depot.